"I was always a creative kid" - Lauren Lowen

Our own Lauren Lowen answers your questions about creating art for surface design. We asked the artist to select three questions pertaining to her art career. These are her fascinating answers.

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Q. If you hadn’t become a professional artist, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

A. Definitely something with a performance element to it. I loved being in plays and musicals in high school, and in another lifetime I would have ended up applying to theatre programs instead. In my art there is a focus on characters and deep love for them. When I’m not creating characters on paper, I’m on stage embodying them!

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Q. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an artist? Describe your earliest artwork.

A. I was always a creative kid. I remember stumbling upon an old art project where the objective was to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said “artist” with a drawing of me by a framed piece of art in a gallery. It was first grade or so, which puts me at about 6 years old. However, it probably wasn’t until I was about 12 or 13 that I really considered it as a serious path. At the time, I was copying all my brother’s comic books and anime I found online (yup, I was one of those kids). I drew silly comics about my bird character with the genius name of “Bird-O” and even started a comic that was inspired by superhero characters like X-Men. That seems so long ago!

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Q. What advice would you give to a young person who is just beginning an art career?

A. First of all, you don’t have to be everything to everyone out there. Meaning that it’s OK if your work doesn’t fit with every client or market. I have a thing I do and have been fortunate enough to find the people who need and love my particular skills. This means that some companies or clients that I think are really awesome may not ever need me, and I’m at peace with that. (However, I have been pleasantly surprised at times. You never know!) Many artists ask themselves “What artwork do I have to make to get hired?” and although this is an important question, you really should ask yourself “What is the work I want to be making?” You should answer THAT question first, then move on to finding the proper homes and venues for your art. Do you create funky hand-lettering? Cool, try making some fun greeting cards with it and approach stationery companies for licensing. Or create portfolio pieces that show it being used as a magazine cover and approach editorial clients. Think about what you do and how it can be applied in different scenarios.

Miriam's Latest Project Just In

Hello again,

A little while ago, I received such a wonderful sample in the mail. And I finally got around to making photos so I could share it with you.
Demdaco produced a super lovely and soft scarf with one of my designs that I licensed last year. I am so happy with the quality.
Personally, I think it also works very well as a shawl, because of its size (24″w x 72.5″long)
The artwork is a mixture of line art and painted elements.
Beautiful florals, combined with acrobatic swallows and dragonflies, adorn the textured sky-blue background. The backside of the scarf is a periwinkle blue.
When I first picked up the scarf, I noticed how soft it feels. It’s made of a combination of polyester and rayon, which gives it a bit of a silky appearance. But it’s also slightly fluffy like fleece. Knowing nothing about types of fabric, I find it rather difficult to explain, haha.

Anyway, I wanted to share this with you. It’s so lovely seeing your artwork appearing on actual products! I always feel like such a lucky girl when I receive these samples at home. 

After some research, I found a website that is currently selling the scarf, along with a beautiful line of other designers.

You can find it here.

Please browse through the gallery below for more images.

Wishing you a great day!

Miriam

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Rachel Grant Answers Your Questions

Our own Rachel Grant answers your questions about creating art for surface design. We asked the artist to select three questions pertaining to her art career. These are her fascinating answers.

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Q. If you hadn’t become a professional artist, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

A. It’s really hard to imagine doing anything that is not within a creative field of some description. When I do it all gets a bit random. If it wasn’t for the night shifts and the overwhelming responsibility I’d say a midwife... or a doula. Then of course I do very much like the idea of having a little antique shop full of old books and ceramics, with a stand outside selling plants... and fresh pies... and freshly baked bread! Perhaps I would have been a farmer... if I wasn’t scared of animals?! I would also have liked a little shop selling Fair Isle jumpers on an island off the Scottish coast... but I don’t think I could handle all that bad weather. Overall it’s probably a good idea I took the path I did. I can take myself off to different worlds in paint every single day, without the commitment to stay there!

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Q. Where do you find inspiration?

A. I spend a lot of time looking back for inspiration. I am obsessed with history, nostalgia, time-worn surfaces, patterns and ephemera. I love the way that the aesthetics of the past influence trends; and the way that those trends resurge in cycles is also fascinating. These kinds of interests lead me to antique shops, second-hand book stores, museums and anywhere where history comes alive. So here in the UK we have lots of stately homes, castles and other places of interest, like factories and mills that are open to the public and are full of inspiration. I also love to relax in front of films and TV dramas that mix historical reference with fiction, or even science fiction and fantasy. I love to see the way a director plays with colour and style to create exciting visual interplays between past/present/future. Wes Anderson’s colour palettes for example are absolutely divine and I spent the whole of the film “Brooklyn” geeking out about the way that John Crowley and his team had beautifully coordinated the knitwear with the wallpaper in each scene!

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Q. Thinking back to art school, what’s something you learned in a classroom that you still use to this day?

A. I followed a very clear path into the arts from high school to a BTEC Art and Design foundation course at college, and then on to a Textile Design and Surface Pattern degree course at University. The most prominent and transferrable skill I learnt during those years was about layering and manipulating surfaces to create texture and depth. Since graduating I have worked on all kinds of different projects, from original art, site specific installations, collaborations with performing arts groups and architects, through to the illustration and licensing work that I do now. In one way or another all of the work I create has been underpinned by those first years of experimentation in mark-making and surface manipulation.

Miriam Bos's the Hidden Garden Collection for Birch Fabrics

I am so happy to announce that the Hidden Garden collection made with Birch Fabrics is finally open for orders.

Last year Birch Fabrics approached me to create a fabric collection inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’. A classic novel (1910) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s a beautiful story about the friendship of a girl and two boys, who find a secret garden and work hard to make it bloom again. Of course, this is only a very modest summary.  I’d love to encourage you to read it some time, if you don’t know it yet.

I was listening to the book when I was working on this collection, and it literally got me in the mood. It’s been such a dream project to work on. I love working with Birch Fabrics. These are real kind people who put great effort and love in producing beautiful fabrics.

A few weeks ago Birch Fabrics attended the International Quilt Market in Houston. They shared a few photos on their Instagram account, and I loved seeing my artwork making it to actual products like onesies for baby’s, dresses, pillows, and curtains.

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Birch Fabrics also sent me a huge box of fabrics, and I really wanted to share some photos to give you an impression of their beautiful and intense colors and detail. I love the quality of their fabrics.

The fabrics are online available at Fabricworm.com and on the website of Birch Fabrics. Birch Fabrics also wrote a lovely blog about the collection!

Scroll through the gallery below for more imagery.

Enjoy - Miriam  

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Our newest artist draws inspiration from quiet, still moments in an otherwise chaotic world.

Jennifer Nelson Artists is proud to present Rachel Grant! Please join me in welcoming our latest artist to the fold. 

Take one look at Rachel’s art and you can imagine her working in an old terraced house in the north of England somewhere… listening to music as she paints… knitting, gardening, baking bread, sewing clothes or snuggled under blankets watching great films in her spare time. And you’d be right!

Rachel is based in North Staffordshire where she draws inspiration from time-worn surfaces and the consistency of the natural world around them. As she says, “Quiet, still moments in an otherwise chaotic world."

Incorporating a range of media in her artwork, include drawing, painting, collage and print, Rachel brings them together digitally at the end. Her portfolio of evocative images embodies her love of a slow, peaceful life. “My overall aim is to capture an atmosphere of peace and harmony,” she says.

If you would like to see a custom gallery of Rachel's work, just ask! We have loads of her utterly charming work and I really do love to share! —Jennifer

Welcome Kelly Angelovic!

What? We have another incredible new illustrator coming on board at Jennifer Nelson Artists? Can you stand the excitement?

Yes, we’re proud as can be to announce that Kelly Angelovic is joining our little group! Wait till you see her lettering work, it’s angelic.

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Kelly is carrying on a family tradition. Her mother was a graphic designer, so she grew up in a household where artistic endeavors were encouraged. After attending school for business (Colorado) and graphic design (Seattle), Kelly established her studio in 2008. It wasn’t until her daughter was born in 2011, that she fell head over heels in love with the art of image making. Lucky for us!

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Specializing in surface pattern design, lettering and illustration, Kelly is grateful every day to have the opportunity to follow the whispers of her heart. Being an illustrator makes Kelly’s soul sparkle.

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When she isn’t in her studio, Kelly can be found with her family enjoying all that Colorado has to offer... and likely trick-or-treating this weekend!

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If you would like to see a custom gallery of Kelly's work, just ask! We have loads of her splendid work and I really, really love to share!  Oh - and one last thing, Happy Halloween! —Jennifer

It’s BIG Announcement time again!

We’re just bursting with joy to announce that we have added another amazingly talented artist to our roster. Please join me in welcoming Rae Ritchie to Jennifer Nelson Artists!

Rae started out just about 10 years ago, designing fashion accessories for women and kids. Although she liked doing creative work for major retailers, it was creating prints and graphics for her products that made her feel most alive.

Since Rae was always painting on the side anyway, she decided to take the next step and shift her focus to fabric design and illustration for greeting cards, stationery, gifts and apparel. And we’re glad she did!

These watercolor and gouache illustrations are created in a sunny little room in Rae’s home, at what must be the tiniest desk in Minneapolis. How can such big art come from such a small desk? That’s where Rae’s enormous talent comes in!

Inspired by the lushness of nature, classic children's books and old photographs, Rae lives with her husband and their cat Sméagol. 

To see some of Rae’s gorgeous illustration work, visit our site here.

Nearly 2 years of Greeting Cards from Jennifer Nelson Artlsts!

In January, we will celebrate two years in the business - these are the cards we currently have out in the marketplace. Enjoy!